Now that he’s graduated from the Yale School of Drama, Stone Barrington’s son Peter heads with his friends and movie collaborators, Ben Bacchetti and Hattie Patrick, on a road trip to La-La Land, little suspecting that a Russian mobster is determined to kill him.
At least that’s one of the plot strands here. Another is the continuing saga of Teddy Fay, the rogue CIA agent who takes to the road again after a stranger in his little North Carolina town looks funny at him. Teddy’s path crosses Peter’s in Paso Grande, N.M., where Teddy, using the alias Billy Burnett, has landed a job as a mechanic at a service station Peter pulls into after a blowout brings him within the sights of the two Russians following him in a Lincoln Navigator. Getting wind of their dastardly plan, Billy kills them both, buries them and the Navigator in a swimming pool–sized hole he digs with a backhoe, trades his recognizable Cessna for a nearly new JetPROP, and takes off for Las Vegas after telling Peter that the guys who were looking for him changed their minds and turned around. Peter’s too distracted by Centurion Studios’ upcoming production of his first movie to question this story, but Stone’s not. Meanwhile, Yuri Majorov, the mobster supposedly killed at the end of Unintended Consequences (2013)—yeah, right—not only isn’t dead, but vows to send more assassins after the two Teddy put in the ground in order to force Stone to sell him his interest in The Arrington, his wildly successful hotel. It’s only a matter of time before Peter offers Billy a job, and the one-time domestic terrorist joins forces with Stone to get Majorov for real. It’s a natural alliance, since both men are businesslike, resourceful, masters of many skills, quick on their feet and fond of casual sex.
The nonstop action is certain to keep fans turning pages, even though the figures Woods is putting through their paces are plot functionaries rather than characters in any meaningful sense.